CAFOs Cost Taxpayers Billions

The U.S. livestock industry—a large and vital part of agriculture in this country—has been undergoing a drastic change over the past several decades. Huge CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) have become the predominant method of raising livestock, and the crowded conditions in these facilities have increased water and air pollution and other types of harm to public health and rural communities.

CAFOs are not the inevitable result of market forces. Instead, these unhealthy operations are largely the result of misguided public policy that can and should be changed.

In this report, the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzes both the policies that have facilitated the growth of CAFOs and the enormous costs imposed on society by CAFOs. We also discuss sophisticated and efficient alternatives for producing affordable animal products, and offer policy recommendations that can begin to lead us toward a healthy and sustainable food system.

Read the entire report, The Untold Costs of Confined Animal Feeding Operations, published by the Union of Concerned Scientists or read the shorter executive summary.


Adams County Residdents Differ On Proposed Factory Farm

St. Croix County is not alone in the fight to protect our air, water and quality of life from the invasion of factory farms. Below is an article for the Country Today discussing the pros and cons for a CAFO moving into an area. The Country Today is a week newspaper out of Eau Claire that does an excellent job of covering the hot topics in Wisconsin agriculture. The paper comes on Thursday and you can get it at Family Fresh grocery store in downtown New Richmond.

By Sara Bredesen
Regional Editor
April 21, 2010

GRAND MARSH - About 200 Adams County residents got a chance April 14 to ask questions about a 4,300-cow dairy proposed by Milk Source for the eastern side of the county, but not all were pleased with the answers or reception they got.

"A lot of them are not really happy because they thought this was going to be a set down where they would tell us where this is going to go," said Jim Phillips, a 40-year resident of Grand Marsh.

Phillips is a next-door neighbor of one of about 15 pieces of property included in an offer to purchase by Milk Source, a partnership that owns dairies in Omro, Kaukauna and Rosendale.

Phillips said he was inside the community building, handing out information expressing opposition to the dairy, and was asked to leave the event hosted by Milk Source.

Read more at The Country Today.


Ground water issues in St. Croix County

Below are two links to ground water information that I got from the St. Croix County website. Both are extensive and detailed and will give you a good overview of some of the issues with the ground water in St. Croix County. Incidently, the towns of Erin Prairie, Hammond and Warren have some major issues with nitrates in the ground water.

We heard the term "karst" mentioned in a few of our meetings and these presentations will give you a ground background in what that terms means and how it applies to St. Croix County.

Something to keep in mind is that we are going to be battling many experts who outgun is with their credentials. We must educate ourselves on these issues, if we are to have a chance in this fight.

1. Power Point presentation by Dr. Kerry Keen, professor/ hydrogeologist, the UW-River Falls.

2. Intorduction to Ground Water in St. Croix County


Must Read Articles

Below are a list of recent articles that will help give you a background on what is going on with CAFOs in Wisconsin and the issues, health hazards, etc. surrounding them. Articles 1-5 are from a series of articles by Ron Seely recently published in the Wisconsin State Journal published in Madison. Artilces 6 & 7 article are also by Seely and appeared in the WSJ. Article 8 was written by Charles Duhigg and was published in the New York Times.

1. Tracking a rising tide of waste

2. In deciding where farms go, communities find they may have to battle the state

3. Dairy lobbyists shape policy

4. Investigation finds lack of oversight

5. Factory farms nothing like family farms of old

6. Proposed streamlined factory farm permits 'unlikely' to be approved by DNR

7. Treatment of manure garnering farming industry's attention

8. Health Ills Abound as Farm Runoff Fouls Wells

From Fighting Bob, Wacko over CAFOs.

From Families Against Rural Messes, various literature links.

From Peach Bottom Concerned Citizens Group, resource links.

If you run across other articles or information that should be added to this listen, past a link in the COMMENTS section under this post or e-mail the link to our mailbox at stopstcroixcafo@yahoo.com.


Catholic Conferences Question CAFO Operations

"Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) have become a national issue. A new hog plant in Utah will produce more animal waste than the animal and human waste created by the city of Los Angeles; 1,600 dairies in the Central Valley of California produce more waste than a city of 21 million people. The annual production of 600 million chickens on the Delmarva Peninsula near Washington, D.C. generates as much nitrogen as a city of almost 500,000 people..."

"...In the light of present concerns about the industrialization of agriculture and the pollution of the environment as represented especially by the hog industry, NCRLC supports efforts for a national dialogue on Confined Animal Feeding Operations and their impacts on water quality, the environment, and local communities. Too much time has elapsed and too much damage has been done without an adequate national dialogue on these issues.

As a first step, NCRLC supports a moratorium on the expansion and building of new farm factories and calls for a serious consideration of their replacement by sustainable agricultural systems which are environmentally safe, economically viable, and socially just. While the federal government, the states, and local communities reassess the structure of agriculture, such a moratorium seems especially urgent. Without a moratorium, the number of CAFOs will continue to proliferate, causing a significant increase in the devastating pollution, health, and social impacts by these confinement facilities across the country..."

A Statement from the National Catholic Rural Life Conference (NCRLC) Board of Directors

Read the entire statement...

Read the letter to Wis Dept of Ag from the Wisconsin Catholic Conference.


Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Near Schools May Pose Asthma Risk

"Previous research has shown increased rates of asthma among children living in rural areas of Iowa and the United States. Given that CAFOs release inflammatory substances that can affect the health of workers at these facilities and the air quality of nearby communities, we were interested in whether there was a connection between CAFOs and increased rates of asthma among kids in rural areas."

Joel Kline, M.D.
Professor of internal medicine
Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
University of Iowa

Science Daily (June 27, 2006) — Children who attend school near large-scale livestock farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may be at a higher risk for asthma, according to a new study by University of Iowa researchers.

The study, led by Joel Kline, M.D., professor of internal medicine in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, appears in the June issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org).

Read more @ Science Daily.


Farmer turned activist fights manure-spreading faults

Michigander's grassroots effort tracks megafarms

Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

CLAYTON, MI -- Since 2000, Lynn Henning has watched a dozen huge dairy and hog farms mushroom in her rural area west of Adrian. A farmer herself, she was disturbed by the size of the operations and the massive amounts of untreated waste they produced. Runoff from untreated manure began to taint nearby creeks and foul the air with a putrid stench.

Henning, 52, began testing water herself to track discharges from the farms into local waters. She has been threatened and sued and had dead animals dumped on her porch. But her tireless detective work has contributed to the state closing one factory farm and fining others more than $400,000 for 1,077 violations since 2000.

For her efforts, Henning is to receive the 2010 Goldman Environmental Prize today, often described as the Nobel Prize for environmental work. It's given annually to one person on each continent.

For Henning, it's a surprising Cinderella moment...

Read more @Detroit Free Press.


Advisory Group To Address Wis. Ag Waste Emissions

“The group serves an important role in protecting the public’s health and the environment while also helping our Wisconsin farmers operate successfully and sustainably.”

Matt Frank
Wisconsin DNR Secretary

An advisory group representing the farm industry, environmental groups and health scientists will hold its first public meeting to discuss best management practices to help livestock operators reduce hazardous air emissions from agricultural waste.

The 13-member Agricultural Waste Best Management Practices Advisory Group will develop recommendations to mitigate potentially dangerous air emissions of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia from livestock waste.

Those recommendations, targeted to be completed by the end of the year, then will be considered by the Department of Natural Resources for inclusion into rule as required by state law.

Read more at Wisconsin State Farmer.